The Clock Gene
Have you ever wondered how our internal, biological clock actually works? We're aware that we have a clock that helps us adapt to the regular rhythm of the day but we don't each personally understand how it works. Three individuals - Jeffrey C. Hall, Michael Rosbash and Michael W. Young - discovered how plants, animals and humans are able to adapt to their biological rhythm so that they're in sync with the Earth's rotations.
There is a gene that controls our biological rhythm and these three scientists managed to isolate that gene. As stated in the below sourced article: they showed that this gene encodes a protein that accumulates in the cell during the night, and is then degraded during the day. Subsequently, they identified additional protein components of this machinery, exposing the mechanism governing the self-sustaining clockwork inside the cell. We now recognize that biological clocks function by the same principles in cells of other multi cellular organisms, including humans.
Our clock regulates main functions such as behavior, hormone levels, sleep, body temperature and metabolism. Our health and well-being are affected when there is a disruption to the clock, such as jet lag or staying up late for a party. The next day, you cannot function as well as you would have had you followed your clock's natural instincts for sleep and when to awaken.
What is Circadian Rhythm?
Circadian Rhythm is controlled by the clock gene.
You may know your internal clock and around what time to expect to be most energized and when you're most likely to start feeling tired and this happens around the same time each day, depending on if you've followed a schedule. This is your circadian rhythm at work, your internal clock cycle, working between feeling tired and feeling awake at regular intervals.
The usual energy fall happens in the middle of night and just after noon. If you're caught up on sleep, you won't feel the changes in your energy as much . When you're sleep deprived, you'll notice your energy variations more.